April 5, 2013

Mod Podge Notebook

It's a little late to say "It's a new year- time for a new notebook!" but I'm gonna do it anyway.  My old notebook at work got filled up, so it was time for a new one.  While I liked the size of my new handy dandy notebook, its color left a lot to be desired.  It was a free book from a tour of the printer my company uses for our books, and I have no earthly idea why someone would decide on baby poo yellowish brown as a color to use on marketing products.  Maybe it was a case of:

Person A: "We have a box of baby poo color for book covers- what in the world do we use these for?"
Person B: "I feel vomitous just looking at those.  I don't care what you do- just get them out of here."
Person A: "So just throw them away?"
Person B: "No, that would be wasteful.  Make them into something, but something that will eventually leave this building."

Anyway- I decided some Mod Podge and scrapbook paper would do the trick, and they didn't let me down.

Front cover

Back cover

Ta da!


  • Old, plain notebook
  • Matte Mod Podge (the yellow bottle)
  • Sponge brush
  • 2-3 sheets of scrapbook paper, or leftover scraps, for a 5x7 size notebook
  • Scissors
  1. Open up book and lay face down on scrap newspaper paper (this project gets messy).  Arrange your scrapbook paper in roughly the final arrangement you want to use.  Allow pieces to overlap, and definitely extend the paper beyond the edges of the book.  You'll fold them over and glue to the inside covers so that you have paper covering the edges for a nice, clean look.
  2. Set aside the scrapbook paper (trying to keep an eye to your arrangement of papers; maybe take a pic first?) so you're working on the plain book to start.
  3. Apply Mod Podge in a thin layer to front cover of book.  Lay down first layer of scrapbook paper, then apply another layer of Mod Podge.  While your paper can extend over the edges and spine of the book, don't worry about getting those parts right just yet.  Keep applying Mod Podge and scrapbook paper layers until front of book is covered.  Let dry.
  4. Close your book, then apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the spine.  If you leave it propped open (like I did) your cover won't want to stay closed after the Mod Podge has dried and tightened things up.  Press down scrapbook paper over the spine (the parts extending from the front cover) and apply more as needed to cover any gaps.  Let dry.
  5. Flip book over so that the bare, back of the book of the facing up.  Repeat with the layers of Mod Podge and scrapbook paper until covered.  Keep in mind you're going to have pieces of paper extending beyond all of the edges and looking crazy.  Let dry.
  6. Trim scrapbook paper around all of the edges of the book, leaving 1-2" extra.  That's the allowance for you to fold the excess paper over the edges and glue to the inside cover.
  7. Make a diagonal cut in the scrapbook paper at each corner of the front and back cover.  This way you can fold over the bottom/top and side pieces tightly.  In fact, your original book cover may have done the same, and you can see how it lays flat.  Also cut slits down the paper sticking out from the spine, so that you can fold the top and bottom pieces nicely against the inside covers.  Trim the excess from the spine; there is no way to fold that over and glue it cleanly.
  8. Mod Podge the edges of the inside cover, fold over scrapbook paper excess, and coat again with Mod Podge.  You'll need to smooth these pieces with your fingers so they stay put nicely.  Repeat with the back cover.

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